Back from Germany
What a trip!
I went to Germany last week on a business trip and it turned out to be quite an interesting experience filled with fun, stress, food, booze, late nights and women. Okay, maybe not the last one, but I had a great time (ignoring work). The Germans are a funny bunch. I can't recall all the differences I saw between them and American culture, but I want to mention some of the things that I observed.
Food. The main components of German diet are pork and beer. The menu's consist of 75% 'swine' meals and the remaining is beef (with a little fish and fowl). But the fowl was scarce due to fears of the avian flu. They love the juicy bacon, not the crisp stuff. Even the veggies are sprinkled with bacon!! ... And the portions are huge! Well if you run a meal at 15 euro, that's almost $20 US (ie. everything was just a tad bit expensive -- tip and tax are automatic). The odd part of the meat is that it's seldom seasoned. Just huge slabs of meat. Just huge.
Drink About 5 yrs ago, someone told me that once you get used to German beers you won't like anything else. Hmmm, some truth in that maybe. ... They prefer hefeweizen which to me was a 'misty' beer that seemed a lot thicker. Odd at first, you develop a taste for it rather quickly. Although the dark beer ('dunkel') did have a nicer taste. Curious though, the bars did not have much variety with the harder drinks. Maybe it was their lack of understanding my english?
Toilets The men's standing toilets seemed like little bowls mounted on the wall. No privacy. Just everybody standing friendly next to eachother. Of course, the Germans aren't as uptight as Americans (which explains a lot). ... Toilet tissue leaved a lot to be desired. Interestingly most of the restrooms I saw always had lots of open TP laying around. In the US you have to lock it up so people won't steal it. And the final kicker: the TP is like sand paper!!! Go home and hug your Charmin and tell it how much you appreciate it.
Sex Again, the Germans are open and free. Driving to the hotel, there are posters and billboards all over with ads for "erotic materials". Absolutely no big deal. You can find a 'Sex Shop' in the middle of other stores. Buy some groceries, try on some clothes, pick up some XXX magazines. Curious. And the television isn't much different. After 10 (or maybe 11) the commercials on several channels are littered with all sorts of ads for 'erotic' things. See I couldn't quite figure it out. I thought it was possibly phone sex or something. But it was also SMS messaging, and other weird stuff. But, you see the girls are totally naked. And that's only the commercials. Very odd. --- Don't worry, I was almost never in my room except to sleep.
Lots of other interesting things. ... The autobahn was a bit wild. I saw our cabby pull 165km/hr more than once. ... Lots of absolutely tiny tiny cars. ... No such things as 'non-smoking areas'. People smoke everywhere. And there are cigarette vending machines, with not a few varieties - but 40. Clothes smell. I even saw ashtrays in the stairwells at work. ... Impressive how the restaurants and bars have many english speaking waiters (and attractive waitresses). ... Airport security is about 3x times more intense than in the US. ...
It was a very fascinating trip. I'll bet most of the above isn't too specific to Germany and maybe Europe as a whole, but still hard for me to guess either way. Anyways, I'm glad I got the opportunity.
JC on April 7, 2006 ~ 11:11 AM
Enjoy your stay in our country, the European Union.
Mike on April 10, 2006 ~ 01:01 AM
but ur google ads r funny…
Mauriat Miranda on April 11, 2006 ~ 02:14 PM
Ha! You know, wow that I’m actually looking them - Yeah, they’re really funny.
Mark on April 12, 2006 ~ 04:04 AM
nice to have reflections from outside. hope you njoyed your trip to “the old world”.
the meals: you seem to be right, a lot of pork or beef. 2 much meat.
the beer: there a 2 thinks u didnt mention. the ‘normal’ beer is a “pilsnener” as it can be found all over the world. the “hefeweizen” has much more alcohol, caused by the used barm. so you drink less to get the same way filled up. ;)
TP: like sand_paper?!?! I’m comfortable with that, never had problems - even in case of looseness no irritations or redness …@all you can (now) buy Charming in Germany too.
sex: Of course we handle it very unreserved. I think thats the great difference. but sometimes its 2 much skin, even 4 us. and those commercials suck… (yeah, commercials 4 phone_sex, flirt_chat, dating_lines and horny grandma’s….crap)
autobahn: no speed limit at all. tiny cars - if your family has 2 cars and only 1 garage you have to find a suitable way… ;) …I would like to know what you felt about driving that fast. a velocity of 165 km/hrs is (nearly) the avarage speed. felt save? or wanted to go faster?
biggest surprise 2 me is that you said Airport security is 3x time more intense. I stuckt 4 moments. thought it would be vice versa…
greetz from germany,
Mauriat Miranda on April 12, 2006 ~ 07:07 AM
Interesting, thanks for the perspective!
About the beer: I was hesitant to try the unfiltered drink so I went first for the “pilsnener”, but later I found they charged me extra for it (almost 1EU). So much for that.
The driving was a bit odd, I did not have a good frame of reference to compare speeds. When we were at ~140km/hr it seemed “normal”. Now when I look back at it, I think we were going “slow”. Even his top speed, just seemed okay. I’m not sure if I really wanted to go faster. Most of the time, I really didn’t care.
And what bothered me about the airport was that for my specific flight we went through x-ray and body scanners 2 times (in addition to the customs and normal security check). And even more troubling was that they sectioned off the passengers for my flight and to even go to the bathroom you had to submit your boarding pass to them. Very odd.
JC on April 12, 2006 ~ 12:12 PM
Mark old chap,
it’s back to school for you with the standard of your English.
Tai on April 29, 2006 ~ 03:15 PM
Finally lifted again…can’t do a single push up. Damn I miss ya Mo.
Oliver on October 28, 2006 ~ 06:06 AM
funny to read this :-)
greatings from Germany,